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Windows Server 2008 One Year On — Hit Or Miss?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the depends-what-you're-aiming-at dept.

Microsoft 386

magacious writes "Friday marked a year to the day since Microsoft launched Windows Server 2008, but did it have quite the impact the so-called software giant expected, or did it make more of a little squeak than a big bang? Before its arrival on 27 February 2008, it had been five long years since the release of the last major version of Windows Server. In a world that was moving on from simple client/server applications, and with server clouds on the horizon, Windows Server 2003 was looking long in the tooth. After a year of 'Vista' bashing, Microsoft needed its server project to be well received, just to relieve some pressure. After all, this time last year, the panacea of a well-received Windows 7 was still a long way off. So came the new approach: Windows Server 2008."

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Not a matter of opinion.. (2, Informative)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023577)

Love them or hate them, Microsoft is a factual software giant...

Re:Not a matter of opinion.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023647)

What a useless comment, something akin to:

"The Nazis, love them or hate them they were a force to be reckoned with..."

Well yeah, but so what?

Re:Not a matter of opinion.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023679)

I assume the OP's post is in regards to the summary's "did it have quite the impact the so-called software giant expected?"

Re:Not a matter of opinion.. (4, Funny)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023701)

Second comment on the thread, and it's already been Godwin'ed. I _am_ impressed.

Re:Not a matter of opinion.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023827)

Godwin's Law is a law of nature, just like gravity. You don't 'gravity' something, you just observe the effects. Considering that Godwin's Law is a statistical law, you would simply observe many threads of different lengths and observe the phenomenon. Long threads about kittens and puppies are the most amusing to review. Threads about corporations or politics are the most boring. Apparently, the topic of a thread can make Nazi references come earlier or later, but they will always appear as the thread length approaches infinity.

Re:Not a matter of opinion.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023939)

My cat looks a bit like Hitler.

Re:Not a matter of opinion.. (4, Insightful)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023711)

It's not useless, and in fact, it's the very first thing I thought to myself when I read the summary.

To further your own analogy, how seriously could you take an article that, in it's first paragraph dismissed the Nazi Germany as a something the world over-reacted to, and never should have taken seriously?

It sets a tone, that perhaps the author's views are badly colored.

whats it give us? (4, Informative)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023603)

I run a few 2k8 servers and must say that there are very few features that distinguish it from 2k3. For me, those are the new remote-apps terminal server feature and hyper-v. not a whole lot has changed other than rearranging a bunch of stuff.

Re:whats it give us? (3, Insightful)

bdsesq (515351) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023705)

2k3 just works.
Does anyone have a compelling reason to use 2k8?

Re:whats it give us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023765)

hyper-v? iis 8? i use win 2k8 for desktop.

Re:whats it give us? (4, Informative)

hudson007 (739981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023777)

If you have a small branch office, 2008 offers a RODC option. The new Group Policy features reduce SYSVOL bloat (i.e. less data to replicate) and can fully leverage the new GP features in Vista, assuming you chose to deploy Vista in the first place.

Re:whats it give us? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023793)

Please come to my work and tell the windows admin that. I tried but they switched anyways. Now they get to reboot every 2 days because the SMB shares stop working to the clients and no one can get the their data.

They call me old fashioned because I like to see requirements and testing before I go upgrading. I guess I am just some surly old curmudgeon, trying to perform due-diligence on systems that attach to a production network. hrmph!

Re:whats it give us? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023853)

I've been curious why all the sudden there are several servers that announced regular routine maintenance cycles where they would be unavailable... They used to be available 24/7.

Re:whats it give us? (2, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024187)

There are multiple issues which can cause what you describe, the most commonly one i've encountered in the wild is the combination of a WS08 bug (for which there is a hotfix) together with McAfee.

Most likely:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/959816 [microsoft.com]

Maybe (SMB2 only):
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948572 [microsoft.com]

Basically: If you have issues like that, don't reboot the servers. Open a PSS case.

Re:whats it give us? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023829)

Have you seen the new TCP/IP stack? Holy shit, it's fast. As in "your network team will be screaming because they had no idea that a Windows box can push data that fast.

Re:whats it give us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023871)

IIS7 is a very good reason, Mandatory Integrity Control is another good one in the near future, but in my opinion the better one, that is in Vista also, is the posibility to perform transactions involving the filesystem and the registry.

Re:whats it give us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024013)

2k3 just works.

Or not. I did some scheduled maintenance upgrades this week on two w2k3 servers (different environments). Both of them failed to boot correctly and were unavailable before second reboot.

Never had this happen with debian boxes, although apt-get update && apt-get upgrade has broke couple of packages.

Re:whats it give us? (1)

mcnazar (1231382) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024143)

NT Server 4.0 just works.. only faster and for longer.

Re:whats it give us? (5, Informative)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023815)

The main things is the ability to do a "core" (minimalistic) install, hyper-v, the terminal service enhancements as you mentioned, IIS7 (thats actually a very, very big deal for .NET shops) and souped up Active Directory. The rest is mostly enhanced management (incremental upgrades and some new features here and there to make stuff faster/easier) and incremental improvements on most things, and support for Vista specific features. Its also decently faster overall.

The first things i mentioned are actually pretty major, if you need them, but obviously are irrelevant if all you're using it for is a file server, of course :)

Re:whats it give us? (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024001)

I would say a minimal install is very relevant for a file server... Who wants tons of crap on a machine thats only acting as a file server?

Re:whats it give us? (4, Insightful)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024109)

Not costing you money (lots of it, as far as I can guess) is also relevant when choosing a file server, especially when you can get Linux distributions for free that have had the capability to do a "minimal install" for as long as they've existed. Surely even a very Windows-centric company can manage to meet their file serving needs using Samba.

Re:whats it give us? (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023843)

I mostly agree. The rearranging stuff is a bit of a pain.
NTBackup in 2008 can no longer backup data located on a remote share which is a PITA (at least I can't do this, does anyone know different?). I need this because I backup several servers onto 1 backup device. So today my backups are still done on a 2003 server.

Re:whats it give us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024193)

I would wager they make that impossible to do since they'd rather you buy their own fancy new back up solution [microsoft.com] for that. Granted, I've messed with that solution and it's pretty cool, but it ain't cheap.

Re:whats it give us? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023993)

Remote apps instead of a full desktop - already done by X11 and citrix for many years.
Hyper-v - already done by xen, kvm, vmware and a whole load more, most linux distros already had some kind of vm shipping by default.

A couple BAD features that distinguish it from 2k3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024125)

"I run a few 2k8 servers and must say that there are very few features that distinguish it from 2k3" - by itzdandy (183397) on Saturday February 28, @12:24PM (#27023603) Homepage

2 security features Microsoft has PULLED (port filtering) &/or crippled (for efficiency in HOSTS files) shouldn't be & yet, are.

----

1.) The removal of being able to use 0 as a blocking IP address in a HOSTS file

(vs. 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1, which are bigger, slower on load into the local DNS Cache (as well as slower flushes via ipconfig /flushdns) & also occupy more RAM once loaded, for NO GOOD REASON - 0 blocks as well as the other 2 do, & is smaller + faster!)

In this case, this happened on 12/09/2008 Microsoft "Patch Tuesday" updates, it wasn't LIKE that before then!

E.G.-> Here, using 0 as my blocking IP address in a FULLY normalized (meaning no repeated entries) HOSTS file with nearly 650,000 bad sites blocked in it, I get a 14++mb sized HOSTS file... using 0.0.0.0 it shoots up to 18++mb in size (& even worse using 127.0.0.1, to around the tune of 24++mb in size)... Here? This is SENSELESS bloat creation as the result!

&

2.) The removal of IP Port Filtering GUI controls for it via Local Network Connections properties "ADVANCED" section

(This is up there w/ when MS removed the GUI checkbox after NT 4.0 for IP Forwarding, only, this time, the difference is (and, it's a PAIN) is that it is NOT a single 1 line entry to hack via regedit.exe, but FAR MORE COMPLEX to do by hand)... Port Filtering is a USEFUL & POWERFUL security (& to a degree, speed also) enhancing feature!

Afaik, on THIS case (vs. #1 above)? It has always been that way in VISTA &/or Windows Server 2008... & not just the result of a Patch Tuesday modification.

----

QUESTION: Do ANY of you folks have an answer, a GOOD SOLID TECHNICAL answer, as to WHY these cripplings have been implemented in VISTA, Server 2008, & most likely their descendant, in Windows 7?

See - I posted on Microsoft/Mr. Sinofsky's (?) blog -> http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/02/25/feedback-and-engineering-windows-7.aspx [msdn.com]

AND, I have YET to get a SOLID TECHNICAL ANSWER on those things going on in VISTA, Server 2008, & probably Windows 7 as well, that justify doing so...

(They're things I'd really LIKE to get an answer to, as to WHY Microsoft has done the 2 things in my list above, to the above noted versions of Windows)

APK

P.S.=> I found the (imo) rather flimsy reasoning behind WHY the PORT FILTERING gui controls were allegedly removed in Windows VISTA, Server 2008, & Windows 7, after consulting with Mr. Mitch Tulloch ( http://www.windowsnetworking.com/Mitch_Tulloch/ [windowsnetworking.com] ) ... here tis:

From Chapter 27 of the Vista Resource Kit that explains the rationale for removing the TCP/IP Filtering UI:

----

"Windows XP Service Pack 2 actually has three different firewalling (or network traffic filtering) technologies that you can separately configure, and which have zero
interaction with each other:

Windows Firewall that was first introduced in Service Pack 2

TCP/IP Filtering, which is accessed from the Options tab of the Advanced
TCP/IP Properties sheet for the network connection

IPsec rules and filters, which you can create using the IPsec Security
Policy Management MMC snap-in

On top of this confusion, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 had a fourth network traffic filtering technology that you could use: the Routing and Remote Access Service(RRAS), which supported basic firewall and packet filteringthe problem, of course, is that when more than one of these firewalls is configured on a computer, one firewall can block traffic that another allows"

----

Lame reasoning imo!

I say this, because it is TRIVIAL to create exceptions rules in most any software (or hardware based) firewall generally, & to match that in Port Filtering is quite simple also (even easier imo, provided you know what port's involved, & that's what the IANA lists are for, after all).

AND

E.G.-> Once a malware gets inside? One of the FIRST things it does, is disable a software firewall... & with NO OTHER BARRIERS IN THE WAY, such as PORT FILTERING RULES (which because they work @ an unrelated level (drivers-wise), in the IP stack, makes it an actual advantage because it cannot be 'taken out' from a single point of attack (though, perhaps MS is saying a single point of control is the advantage in their method, it still lends itself to being taken down from a single place too by the same token - imo? A "catch-22" situation, quite possibly & MOST likely))?

I.E.-> It weakens the concept of "Layered Security"... especially vs. say, recent attacks on services like the RPC bug in the SERVER service, for example... no more firewall (or other layers like Port Filtering) in the way, once said software firewall is down (since it works on a diff. driver level than Port Filters do)!

P.S.S.=> Mr. Tulloch ( http://www.windowsnetworking.com/Mitch_Tulloch/ [windowsnetworking.com] ) & I are currently in progress searching for the reasoning behind the removal of 0 as a valid IP blocking address in a HOSTS file, but even HE was unaware of WHY this was done... but, with any luck? We're going to find out - &, I'll let you all know, here, if the thread isn't dead by then... apk

Some good, lots bad. (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023605)

Excellent improvements and additions behind the scenes (such as the new group policy controls) but the usability has dropped considerably. "Roles" and "Features" are terribly silly and incongruous.

Re:Some good, lots bad. (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024041)

Server Manager is IMO a good thing. Not for the seasoned admin who already knows how to find everything, but i've seen most of our apprentices getting an easier grip on 2008 than on 2003.

I expected more driver support (3, Interesting)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023611)

I've installed Win2008 a few times and it always surprises me that I have to dig up the driver disks for the storage controllers... never have to do that when I install Fedora or Debian.

Re:I expected more driver support (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023695)

Basic Open Source versus Proprietary issue. It's a lot easier for a hardware company to get drivers added to Linux distros than to Windows install disks.

Re:I expected more driver support (5, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023749)

This is really an about face... 10 years ago, Linux was the platform you often couldn't get running due to missing hardware drivers -- you really had to be very careful about what hardware you chose.

Also, Windows 2000 was the easy-to-use OS.. Linux was the server OS with usability issues..

Is it starting to change, so that Linux is actually more usable than Windows server?

That would be the day...

Now if only we could get a true match for Windows Active Directory. So that the software on Windows Desktop machines, works EXACTLY as if the environment was powered by Windows servers, Exchange for e-mail, etc.

Re:I expected more driver support (0, Offtopic)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023767)

Basic Open Source versus Proprietary issue. It's a lot easier for a hardware company to get drivers added to Linux distros than to Windows install disks.

They must be trying harder on Windows then, considering that the vast majority of hardware just works in Vista off the install disk but much, much more manual intervention is required in at least Debian and Ubuntu. Open source does make it technically easier for a vendor to get a driver into a distro (and cheaper), but most vendors just don't care. The GP's case is definitely the exception, not the rule.

Re:I expected more driver support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024145)

No, it isn't.

Since when did you need drivers for a storage controller on a desktop machine? You don't - desktop machines don't have hardware RAID controllers. Servers do - Linux has excellent support for these without any extra driver disks. Windows server does not. In fact, the Linux drivers are frequently better than the vendor-supplied Windows drivers.

Your experience on a DESKTOP machine, running a DESKTOP OS, has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on a SERVER.

Re:I expected more driver support (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024201)

The biggest reason for the "extra step" for a lot of drivers in Ubuntu is because of "non-free" drivers. Because of the spirit of Ubuntu, they have to make you feel guilty about using an nVidia or Broadcom driver before you go "It's on $#@!ing notebook, just install it."

Re:I expected more driver support (1, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023781)

That's a very unfair comparison. Servers need to be extremely cautious with drivers in order to provide the sort of 99.999% uptime expected for industry. Fedora and Debian are more comparable to MacOS or Windows XP this way, where it's easier to update and support oddball hardware configurations.

No, install CentOS or run Oracle or VMware servers on it, something with commercial support expected on it, and you're going to run into driver limitations because they've not had a year or more to test it under serious loads, and then it's safer to install in server configurations.

Re:I expected more driver support (4, Informative)

SuperQ (431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023929)

You don't get 5 nines out of a single server install, sorry. The only way you get that is with HA clustering and automatic failover.

PC hardware, even expensive stuff, is not reliable enough no matter what $VENDOR's sales pitch is.

You might get lucky and get a single reliable box, but if you deploy a non-trivial number of servers you will need to plan for hardware/software failures.

Re:I expected more driver support (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024159)

You don't get five nines out of a machine that can't access its storage, either, so I don't see what your point is, unless your suggestion is that the machine in question should be left to gather dust.

Re:I expected more driver support (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023773)

The problem isn't that it's difficult to get storage drivers into Windows -- Microsoft actively solicits all the major IHV's to provide them. The problem is that the cutoff date for submission can be a year or more in advance of when Windows finally ships. This guarantees that drivers for the latest hardware won't be included.

Re:I expected more driver support (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023901)

That's why all major server vendors ship startup CDs that contain all the major drivers and system management Software.

IBM calls them ServerGuide, HP calls them SmartStart. They're meant for small businesses without automated server deployment.

Can't answer your question (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023615)

because none of the businesses I see have adopted 2008 server.

Very few have any Vista desktops either.

Re:Can't answer your question (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023709)

To add a voice: I'm seeing more Linux installs than Win2k8 and Vista combined. This many mean nothing, or may mean I'm seeing what the average person is seeing. Consolidation and cost are driving what I'm seeing. When you see a row of several hundred blades running RHEL (replacing Windows in some cases) it's fairly convincing.

Re:Can't answer your question (1)

networkz (27842) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023819)

Everyone else is still buying XP + 2K3. It just works, if you're an MS shop.

Re:Can't answer your question (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023823)

Realize that when you choose to focus on unix, don't be surprised when that's all you see. I've seen hundreds of server running Windows, and at my computer we have three servers now with 2008. Not a linux install in site..

Re:Can't answer your question (5, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023891)

The data center where my servers are is a mixed client data center. It's not the decision of a single company there. There is one company who is using Windows server 2k3 but they are not upgrading. Some of their stuff is moving to Linux/Solaris. The RHEL stuff is a different company that replaced all their Windows servers and went full on RHEL. In my area, we use a mix of Win2k3, Solaris (5.8-10), and Linux (CentOS). There is a ton of telecomms stuff in half the data center as well. I'm not seeing any growth in Windows servers, quite the opposite. That's why I thought my experience might be 'average' so to speak.

Re:Can't answer your question (4, Interesting)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023941)

Your experience would be average--for low-end stuff. Generally, if you have the money to be leveraging a lot of Windows Server, you have the money (and often need) your own DC, or a sizable chunk of one.

Anybody whose cup of tea is ASP.NET should be running, not walking, to Server 2008. IIS7 is so much more useful and performant it's not even funny.

Re:Can't answer your question (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024049)

Depends on the business...
Technically oriented businesses often have a lot more linux, businesses where the primary focus is not computing related tend to have a lot of windows (often managed by external companies).
Also a lot of office related stuff is usually all windows, but backend and internet related stuff can be linux based... A lot of smallish companies who think they're 100% windows often have linux boxes and don't realise it... A huge amount of networking equipment runs linux these days.

Re:Can't answer your question (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023713)

Our software (Dental Office Management, Kodak, Practice Works)is certified to run on W2K for the sever and XP pro only, we are actually running on W2003 and a collection of XP pro and one XP home machines for the client and are getting away with it. I don't see W2008 happening for years and Vista will be skipped. Our last system ran on Xenix originally and later on SCO Open Server!

Re:Can't answer your question (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023887)

When you're done sucking off RMS, can I get some service?

No news is good news (5, Interesting)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023633)

Bottom line: It just works. Nice new GPO features, Hyper V is fine, but overall, nothing to get terribly excited about other than the fact that there have been few negative issues.

Outside of removing ISA Server from the Small Business suite, I've read very few negative opinions on 2K8. If you dont need 64-Bit goodness, it might not be worth upgrading from a stable 2K3 environment.

Re:No news is good news (1)

Tinik (601154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023673)

Seconded on removing ISA Server. I prefer it over SonicWall or other firewall appliances for small installations where the client doesn't have the money for anything larger, and its removal hurt.

Re:No news is good news (2, Interesting)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023735)

ISA Server never got the respect it deserved. Even so, I would never use it as an edge device. I prefer fronting it with a Cisco ASA-5500 in SBS networks.

ISA provided unmatched flexibility for what it did, but in the (too often) wrong hands, it was a nightmare to configure. Under any circumstance, IMHO, Sonicwall sucks. Unreliable, prone to reset under load (multiple VPNs) and just cheap garbage.

Re:No news is good news (1)

Tinik (601154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024043)

I'm say saying ISA is perfect by any means. I've run into its limitations on many occasions (only just NOW does it get SIP support!?). But I mostly deal with companies of 20 people or less, and they just don't have the budget for a dedicated firewall appliance with the features that ISA provides. Besides, anything in the wrong hands is going to be a problem, which is why I make sure the client stays out of it and calls me when they need something changed. It was just a good balance between price and feature set (as long as you knew where the limits were) that is going to be hard to match.

Re:No news is good news (5, Informative)

TheBracket (307388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023769)

I recently setup a client of mine with two Win2k8 64-bit servers (in a larger virtual VMware setup). So far, it's worked out very well. It's fast, stable (uptime is exactly equal to the number of days since we last had to reboot for a patch), and played nice with everything already present. Active Directory and Exchange 2007 migrated from the previous Win2k/Exchange 2k setup without a hitch. In other words: no complaints at all, other than the price (which wasn't too bad, since the client received non-profit pricing - but most of what I setup is Linux or FreeBSD and I greatly prefer that pricetag!).

Things I noticed that have improved:
* The group policy editor is a bit easier to use, and less confusing.
* The Vista performance/health monitor is actually pretty good, and provides a really handy ntop-like interface for seeing which service is doing what with the network (not as fine grained as I'd like, but it's a good starting point).
* The old Services-For-Unix services are more tightly integrated, and it was very easy to get NFS up and running.
* Less is installed by default, and adding just the required services was very straightforward.
* The scheduler seems to have improved, because processes distribute over CPUs more widely, and throughput/responsiveness "feels" better.
* The new role-based manager for file serving is a bit easier to find, but is really similar.
* A couple of new diagnostic wizards have appeared, including one for Group Policy - it helped me find a couple of problems I hadn't thought about.

Items I wasn't so fond of:
* Activation. It doesn't matter if you have a charity volume license anymore - you still have to activate. That bugs me, because this server has to last for years, and I worry that if I have to restore a backup in 5 years time the activation wizard may make my life difficult.
* Volume shadow copies are STILL not configured to my liking by default.
* If you want to use some of the new active directory features, you need a pure Win2k8 domain on the server side. It works with "legacy" Win2k/2k3 systems around, but only if they aren't domain controllers.
* The start menu/icons are straight from Vista.
* License management makes less sense, since the license control tools are now hidden away - checking CAL status is a pain.

Overall, for an MS operating system it's pretty good. I don't see a compelling reason to run out and upgrade any Win2k3 systems that are working well - but for new servers, it works great.

Re:No news is good news (2, Funny)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023895)

uptime is exactly equal to the number of days since we last had to reboot for a patch

So... last Tuesday?

Re:No news is good news (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023919)

Microsoft licensing scheme can't be enforced, that's why they moved it out of view in the software, as it plain and simply doesn't work, and may even lead to wrong proconceptions on how MS Licensing works.

Synchronizing your Mobile Phone against Exchange and use Device CALs? You need one more CAL.

One more worker on the factory floor using the "factory" user account and use User CALs? You need one more CAL.

Re:No news is good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024021)

Can I dig this comment?? LOL. Good post.

Re:No news is good news (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024089)

No, but you can slash this dot --> .

Re:No news is good news (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024057)

> stable (uptime is exactly equal to the number of days since we last had to reboot for a patch)

Your statement is just vague enough to still be as embarrassing for MS as it would probably have been if you had been more precise.

Re:No news is good news (2, Informative)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023809)

"64-Bit goodness" was available with win2K3 [microsoft.com] as well so even that's not a reason to go with win2K8.

Re:No news is good news (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023935)

Bottom line: It just works. Nice new GPO features, Hyper V is fine, but overall, nothing to get terribly excited about other than the fact that there have been few negative issues.

You're right, there's nothing to get terribly excited about unless you want a more secure server, more control via GPO, improved network performance, Terminal Services Remote App, a FREE hypervisor, read-only domain controllers for branch offices, lightweight and secure "core" installations, IIS7, improved failover clustering, simplified clustering configuration, vastly improved printing support in Terminal Services, improved functionality in certificate services, improved and image-based deployment via Windows Deployment Services, improved performance monitoring, PowerShell, improved TCP/IP v6 functionality, improved DFS functionality, better NFS support, and so on...

By the way, what were those "few negative issues" that you were referring to?

Re:No news is good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024027)

What's the "if you don't need 64-bit goodness" about? You did know that there is a 64-bit version of Windows 2003, right?

Anything like 2k3? (-1, Troll)

DoktorSeven (628331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023639)

I've never tried 2k8. Does it come with the horrible lockdown of every single thing on the machine when you first bring the system up like 2k3 did, meaning you can't even browse outside of Microsoft's site to get other necessary server bits/programs/etc without doing some obscure fix to open that up (I never could get IE to allow me to go anywhere besides Microsoft unless I did that!)?

That made me laugh -- apparently even Microsoft knows the security on its product is so bad that they have to ship it locked completely down. If they can't even trust their product, why should I?

Re:Anything like 2k3? (2, Funny)

kjart (941720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023661)

they have to ship it locked completely down

I can see why that would be a terrible idea for a server.

Re:Anything like 2k3? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023675)

You can mock all you want, but I find decreasing the attack vector for an out of the box install a sensible approach. Something all server intallations should do, regardless of their creators image.

Re:Anything like 2k3? (4, Funny)

Rutulian (171771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023751)

Yeah, I know. Thankfully a new installation is safely locked down so that you can only browse the Microsoft website. Imagine what might happen if you could browse the web freely. You might accidently end up here [samba.org] which everybody knows is a site full of trojans and malware.

Re:Anything like 2k3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023817)

The IE lock-down doesn't treat microsoft.com any differently than any other website. What it does is load every site as a restricted site by default. No JavaScript, no ActiveX, no plug-ins of any kind, etc. You can still download manually, but you can't execute, only save.

As for disabling the lock-down mode, there is nothing obscure about it. Go to Add/Remove Windows Features and click the check box for it. It is documented right in the help file and on Microsoft's site, as well as dozens of other sites.

Re:Anything like 2k3? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023927)

That's not completely true. The default list trusts Windows Update, which in XP/2003 was still web based. Thats probably what the GGP referred to.

Of course, microsoft.com itself isn't given any special treatment.

Re:Anything like 2k3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024147)

Yeah, I know. Thankfully a new installation is safely locked down so that you can only browse the Microsoft website.

That's peculiar...of the hundreds of Windows 2003 servers that I've installed in the past 5 years, I have never seen a case where the server was so locked down "that you can only browse to the Microsoft website."

Re:Anything like 2k3? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023787)

The obscure thing you need to do is to add the site in question to your trusted sites zone.

Of course if you are trying to download firefox which sends you to a different mirror each time, it could take a few goes until you get enough firefox mirrors listed.

Re:Anything like 2k3? (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023807)

Erm, not even Microsoft's own site is normally opened by default with the IE enhanced security enabled. All it does is severely lock down the ability to run scripts. It is also trivially easy to disable (remove it from add/remove windows components). Then again, why the hell are you browsing the web from your server? Do that from your workstation with a Remote Desktop/VNC/network KVM connection open to the server for any work that needs to be done on the server. I know its an extra step to download something from your workstation and then transfer to the server to install.

Re:Anything like 2k3? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023909)

Re:Anything like 2k3? (1)

dipo (224074) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023975)

Wait! What?

You are browsing the Net with a Server-OS during Installation? And you think that's a Core Feature on a Server-Grade-OS?

There's no need for a Browser on a Server (or a Mailclient or...). Such Tasks should be done with your Admin Notebook or the needed Files could be copied over Network or USB or...

MSs IE on 2k3/2k8 is a tribut to their OS-Strategy, not a Core-Service for a queer Admin ;)

jm2c

Re:Anything like 2k3? (0, Redundant)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024077)

It shouldn't really have a web browser installed by default...
This is supposed to be a SERVER... Your not meant to use it as a workstation or browse sites from it... If you need to get files onto it, it should have some facility to allow you to transfer those files from your workstation. You should keep the amount of code running on your server down to an absolute minimum, and something so large and complex as a web browser that interacts with the outside world is a terrible idea.

Over 1000 servers, not one W2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023653)

Out of over 1000 servers installed in 3 different consulting sites this last year, not a single one is using or wants to use Win2008. Hundreds of Windows 2003, hundreds of Windows dozens of Vista machines in the server rooms, not one Windows 2008. Says it all, really.

2008 is the 2nd best desktop MS ever made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023721)

2003 is the first.

I've been running 2008 since the beginning of the year and I couldn't be more pleased.

Just like 2003 is a stripped down version of XP's madness, 2008 acts the same way.

Indexing and all the other dross needs to be specifally turned on, and as others have attested, even when AERO and the other services are enabled, 2008 still runs circles around vista.

I am running x64 with 8 gigs of mem on a el-cheapo Dell 530. I have all the headroom for multiple virtual machines and a great desktop development station with dx10 gaming.

I still think dx10 is the most overrated carrot MS ever used as a stick, but I find the OS is very nice and delivered in a nice, locked down package.

Even creative has working x64 drivers by now.
 

Re:2008 is the 2nd best desktop MS ever made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023789)

Dear Anonymous Coward,
      Mentioning "8 gigs of mem" and "el cheapo" in the same sentence is cause for ridicule here on slashdot, and in fact in many parts of the real world as well.
      Furthermore, evaluation of whether the OS is fast or not on such a machine is meaningless.
      Finally, please stop playing games and posting on slashdot and get back to the programming homework you told your mommy that you would use the computer for when she bought it for you.
      Thanks,
-Reality

Re:2008 is the 2nd best desktop MS ever made (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023925)

"el-cheapo" seems appropriate enough in this case. Dell 530s start at $280, with no special deals or shopping around, and take DDR2, which you can get in a 4x 2GB kit, again without any real shopping around, for ~$100.

Obviously, on the world stage, that is still nontrivial money for a lot of people; but you can, easily, get a machine with 8gigs of RAM for under $500. A genuinely decent machine with 8gigs for under $1000.

Re:2008 is the 2nd best desktop MS ever made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023959)

I - not the OP - have an el cheapo 50$ motherboard that accepts up to 16GB of RAM. The whole configuration was about 700$. That's not much for the performance offered.
Yes I've built it by myself, but even a non-techie can do that. It is depicted in every manufacturer's manual.

Re:2008 is the 2nd best desktop MS ever made (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023869)

Hmm... Except for the part where it costs $1k for the "standard" version, or almost $500 for the "Web Server" version.

Vista Ultimate is $320, and that's retail. More like $120 more on a Dell.

So... Is it actually fast enough to justify spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on software, instead of hardware?

Or I'll just stick to Ubuntu, and spend the thousands on hardware.

Re:2008 is the 2nd best desktop MS ever made (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024113)

I have this vague suspicion that AC obtained his copy via the "Port 6881 Volume Discount Licence Program", so to speak...

Re:2008 is the 2nd best desktop MS ever made (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024085)

It does beg the question, why does a "server" os need directx 10?

A "miss" on 2 security features being crippled (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023763)

2 security features Microsoft has PULLED (port filtering) &/or crippled (for efficiency in HOSTS files) shouldn't be & yet, are.

----

1.) The removal of being able to use 0 as a blocking IP address in a HOSTS file

(vs. 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1, which are bigger, slower on load into the local DNS Cache (as well as slower flushes via ipconfig /flushdns) & also occupy more RAM once loaded, for NO GOOD REASON - 0 blocks as well as the other 2 do, & is smaller + faster!)

In this case, this happened on 12/09/2008 Microsoft "Patch Tuesday" updates, it wasn't LIKE that before then!

E.G.-> Here, using 0 as my blocking IP address in a FULLY normalized (meaning no repeated entries) HOSTS file with nearly 650,000 bad sites blocked in it, I get a 14++mb sized HOSTS file... using 0.0.0.0 it shoots up to 18++mb in size (& even worse using 127.0.0.1, to around the tune of 24++mb in size)... Here? This is SENSELESS bloat creation as the result!

&

2.) The removal of IP Port Filtering GUI controls for it via Local Network Connections properties "ADVANCED" section

(This is up there w/ when MS removed the GUI checkbox after NT 4.0 for IP Forwarding, only, this time, the difference is (and, it's a PAIN) is that it is NOT a single 1 line entry to hack via regedit.exe, but FAR MORE COMPLEX to do by hand)... Port Filtering is a USEFUL & POWERFUL security (& to a degree, speed also) enhancing feature!

Afaik, on THIS case (vs. #1 above)? It has always been that way in VISTA &/or Windows Server 2008... & not just the result of a Patch Tuesday modification.

----

QUESTION: Do ANY of you folks have an answer, a GOOD SOLID TECHNICAL answer, as to WHY these cripplings have been implemented in VISTA, Server 2008, & most likely their descendant, in Windows 7?

See - I posted on Microsoft/Mr. Sinofsky's (?) blog -> http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/02/25/feedback-and-engineering-windows-7.aspx [msdn.com]

AND, I have YET to get a SOLID TECHNICAL ANSWER on those things going on in VISTA, Server 2008, & probably Windows 7 as well, that justify doing so...

(They're things I'd really LIKE to get an answer to, as to WHY Microsoft has done the 2 things in my list above, to the above noted versions of Windows)

APK

P.S.=> I found the (imo) rather flimsy reasoning behind WHY the PORT FILTERING gui controls were allegedly removed in Windows VISTA, Server 2008, & Windows 7, after consulting with Mr. Mitch Tulloch ( http://www.windowsnetworking.com/Mitch_Tulloch/ [windowsnetworking.com] ) ... here tis:

From Chapter 27 of the Vista Resource Kit that explains the rationale for removing the TCP/IP Filtering UI:

----

"Windows XP Service Pack 2 actually has three different firewalling (or network traffic filtering) technologies that you can separately configure, and which have zero
interaction with each other:

Windows Firewall that was first introduced in Service Pack 2

TCP/IP Filtering, which is accessed from the Options tab of the Advanced
TCP/IP Properties sheet for the network connection

IPsec rules and filters, which you can create using the IPsec Security
Policy Management MMC snap-in

On top of this confusion, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 had a fourth network traffic filtering technology that you could use: the Routing and Remote Access Service(RRAS), which supported basic firewall and packet filteringthe problem, of course, is that when more than one of these firewalls is configured on a computer, one firewall can block traffic that another allows"

----

Lame reasoning imo!

I say this, because it is TRIVIAL to create exceptions rules in most any software (or hardware based) firewall generally, & to match that in Port Filtering is quite simple also (even easier imo, provided you know what port's involved, & that's what the IANA lists are for, after all).

AND

E.G.-> Once a malware gets inside? One of the FIRST things it does, is disable a software firewall... & with NO OTHER BARRIERS IN THE WAY, such as PORT FILTERING RULES (which because they work @ an unrelated level (drivers-wise), in the IP stack, makes it an actual advantage because it cannot be 'taken out' from a single point of attack (though, perhaps MS is saying a single point of control is the advantage in their method, it still lends itself to being taken down from a single place too by the same token - imo? A "catch-22" situation, quite possibly & MOST likely))?

I.E.-> It weakens the concept of "Layered Security"... especially vs. say, recent attacks on services like the RPC bug in the SERVER service, for example... no more firewall (or other layers like Port Filtering) in the way, once said software firewall is down (since it works on a diff. driver level than Port Filters do)!

P.S.S.=> Mr. Tulloch ( http://www.windowsnetworking.com/Mitch_Tulloch/ [windowsnetworking.com] ) & I are currently in progress searching for the reasoning behind the removal of 0 as a valid IP blocking address in a HOSTS file, but even HE was unaware of WHY this was done... but, with any luck? We're going to find out - &, I'll let you all know, here, if the thread isn't dead by then... apk

Does anyone use Server Core? (2, Interesting)

hudson007 (739981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023831)

A command line only Windows Server OS that is able to run on lower end hardware sounds good in theory, but the current implementation cannot provide most of the functionality of its non-Core counterparts. Is anyone using Windows Server Core 2008? If so, what do you use it for?

Re:Does anyone use Server Core? (2, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023947)

We deployed internally (we're an IT consulting company).

We use it to run our DC/DNS/DHCP primary infrastructure server. Works fine. I see no advantage right now though, and wouldn't deploy such a setup at a customers site.

In WS08 R2, .NET support will be added to Server Core. This will make it a great option for big web server farms.

Re:Does anyone use Server Core? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024037)

the best feature it doesn't include is PowerShell, their flagship command line tool can't be loaded on their command line only server...haha. EPIC FAIL

Re:Does anyone use Server Core? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024155)

It's not really commandline only, it loads the gui components and then runs cmd.exe instead of explorer.exe, you still have a gui, can still use the mouse and move your cmd.exe windows around, and you can still load gui based apps... It's not like the pure text consoles offered by a unix based os.

Nothing but good things to say about 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27023851)

i am a developer and I just built a machine for server development and used server 2008, everything has worked perfectly out of the box, actually less driver issues than my previous 2003 machine.

TSGateway (3, Informative)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023865)

The terminal service gateway is also pretty good. A controlled way to allows TS from the Internet into the clients on the subnet.

Re:TSGateway (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024015)

Yep, again they're eating at Citrix. Which is a good thing IMO, their pricing is insane.

Hit or miss - neither (1)

NextGaurd (844638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023881)

Its just the next Windows server. If you want to buy a Windows server its fine that you get 2K8 but there hasn't been a reason to upgrade a Windows server since Win2k.

Native Backup has improved. (3, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023885)

Server 2008 has a much improved backup utility. It's easy to setup (I just make one backup job that repeats nightly), and will provide a BMR (Bare Metal Restore). The best part however, is the ability to assign multiple USB drives to a backup job. Which ever one is plugged in at the time, it will backup to it. This allows the admin or employee to swap drives before they leave office at night.

My only major gripe is that the backup utility will only do a file level backup. Exchange 2007 is not supported. In theory, you could stop the Exchange Store prior to the backups taking place, be we all know that's just not feasible. Instead, Microsoft states you *must* use a 3rd party backup program or their DPM 2007 product for backup/restore of Exchange! Damn :(

Why do you need a special OS to run a server ?!? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023907)

I did test Win2003server for a year and I completely fail to grok the logic behind needing a special OS just to run a bunch of servers. Oh, I understand full well the need of MS to sell you a more expensive OS. But for me a server is an application. Win*server contains several, some more or less well written but that's not the point. The point is that this test convinced me to run Linux, where if I want a web server I just do "aptitude install apache" or "yum install apache", if I want an ssh server, I do "aptitude install openssh-server, likewise for vnc, sql, ftp, etc... And the rest of the OS continues to work the same.

Re:Why do you need a special OS to run a server ?! (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024033)

Shhh! Those Windows only Admin boys don't understand that. They think because they dropped a few thousand dollars for the OS license (frequently more than what the hardware costs) that it has more features and capabilities than any of those dirty *nix systems. I have watched more than a few of those guys stare in disbelief as I showed them how trivial it is in Linux to add support for multiple cpus, higher memory, larger drives, etc. You know...all of those things MS charges you a goddamned fortune to add support for. Nothing quite like watching that realization that the extra few thousand they paid to "upgrade" to the next highest version of WinServer to support their hardware was nothing more than a few minutes of changing settings.

The entire Windows product line is defective by design. They intentionally cripple their "cheaper". The funniest thing is that Bill Gates himself said that having multiple versions of Windows would destroy the computer indusry during his antitrust trial...but then a few years later turns around and does it anyways.

Re:Why do you need a special OS to run a server ?! (0, Flamebait)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024067)

Who said you did? You're kind of doing the whole strawman thing here, making up something nobody actually said, then arguing against it.

Where I work, we have tons of servers (mostly IIS) running on Windows XP.

Re:Why do you need a special OS to run a server ?! (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024173)

Actually, despite what MS will tell you, a server should be fundamentally different to a desktop, it should have a lot less software installed... MS's server versions are quite the opposite, they're basically desktops with additional server applications installed, they have a ton of desktop related functionality that is completely useless on a server sitting in a rack somewhere.

Is it really ready? (1)

jeep16 (1476609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023983)

I installed w2k8/64 and exchange 2k7 on a vmware esx (kept waiting for hyperV, but even when it came out M$ would not say it supported exchange). There have been many issues along the way - I did not think that doing the upgrades six months after the release would be so 'bleeding edge', but it seems to have been. Even late in 2008 some third party apps were not supported on server 2008. I want to move forward with other server upgrades, but others recommend keeping stable apps running on 2003. BTW - exchange 2003 to 2007 did NOT go smoothly - I am still suffering from issues of decommisioning the 2003 (public folders, GAL, OAB). We don't/won't use Vista so there is no advantage seen there. I have yet to setup the TS (which I understand is probably the biggest improvement).

WS08 is a solid update (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023989)

I work for an IT consulting company (~40 people), and we've upgraded our internal production network to WS08 in April 2008.

So far, we've had few issues, most of them due to ISVs not being completely ready to support WS08 back in April 2008.

By now, we've killed of most of the WS03 VMs as vendors started supporting Server 2008.

WS08 offered lots of improvement - SMB 2.0 is getting a lot of love from our users, as access data over the VPN is now much faster, without the need for expensive WAN accelerator appliances.

Terminal Services were also much improved, being now able to eleminate the need for Citrix for some of our smaller customers. For them, this is a great value proposition.

Otherwise, Server 2008 seems like a good incremental upgrade. There is no need to throw out all 2003 servers right now, but transition them when the hardware is due for replacement.

A product that IMO has a much bigger impact is the release of SBS 2008. It finally gives you 64bit & Exchange 2007 for the smallest of customers.

My .02 (2, Informative)

JJman (916535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024005)

We just switched to 2k8 in my shop (not my choice, AD and Exchange are "mandatory") and I've gotta say, I don't like it.
The only new feature that I've seen is DFS and even that is broken. The UI design team moved stuff for the sake of moving stuff and made everything bigger and chunkier. It also spams new windows that have a tendency to put themselves in the background like nobody's business. Also, the new DC's are giving all kinds of DNS errors.
Now maybe the DFS and DNS problems will be worked out in time (it's a new setup) but I still don't like the UI.
I don't see the point of switching.

STOP THE PRESSES! (0, Troll)

Hobadee (787558) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024071)

Did anyone else read the title as a Windows server had been running for 1 year? That would be impressive uptime for Windows...

Works well as workstation (4, Interesting)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024177)

I'm actually really impressed with it as a workstation OS [win2008workstation.com] . It is as fast as XP due to the significantly fewer number of background services running as compared to Vista, with the prettiness and features of Vista (including Direct X 10 for gaming). Vista drivers work just fine. I installed it mostly as a joke after having received it at one of those Heroes Happen Here conferences, but now I don't even boot to my XP partition anymore.

Works great as a laptop OS! (2, Informative)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024197)

I've been using Server2008 x64 on my t61p laptop since it first came out.

It's great! It feels zippier than Vista. It has a smaller install footprint. (actually even wireless isn't installed by default: you have to add it manually). It's been completely rock-solid.

I even use Hyper-V when giving demos at conferences. (unfortunately Hyper-V doesn't cooperate with wireless and disables sleep/hibernate, so I can't use it routinely.)

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